Friday, April 7, 2017

Today in History for April 7, 2017

William Rufus King
April 7, 1712 - A slave revolt broke out in New York City.

April 7, 1770 – Poet William Wordsworth was born in Cockermouth, England.

April 7, 1776 – Captain John Barry, commander of the American warship USS Lexington captured and took command of the British warship, HMS Edward, off the coast of Virginia.

April 7, 1766 – Harry Toulmin was born in Taunton, Somersetshire, England. After the death of Ephraim Kirby at Fort Stoddert in 1804, Toulmin succeeded him as Superior Court Judge for the Tombigbee District of the Mississippi Territory. Toulmin assumed the role of first postmaster in January 1805. He would pass away at Fort Stoddert at the age of 57 on Nov. 11, 1823.

April 7, 1786 – William Rufus King, a founder of Selma, Ala. and the 13th Vice President of the United States, was born in Sampson County, N.C. In early 1818, King bought land on the Alabama River in Dallas County and moved to the state. He became a leader in the community that grew up in the area, which he named Selma after a city in a favorite poem. King was elected to his first term in the U.S. Senate when Alabama became a state in 1819. In 1852, King was elected vice president on the ticket with Franklin Pierce. Shortly after the election, King went to Cuba for health reasons. Despite the improved climate, his health continued to deteriorate and the U.S. Congress had to pass special legislation and make arrangements for his swearing-in as vice president. King holds the distinction of being the only member of the U.S. executive branch to have been sworn into office on foreign soil. As King's condition worsened, he decided that he would prefer to die at his home in Alabama and left Cuba in early April. He arrived at his plantation on April 17, 1853, and died the following evening.

April 7, 1798 – United States formed the Mississippi Territory by an Act of Congress. As created by Congress, the Mississippi Territory embraced all the present states of Mississippi and Alabama lying above 31 degrees north latitude and below 32 degrees 28 minutes north latitude. Georgia claimed that portion of these states lying above 32 degrees 28 minutes north under her royal charter.

April 7, 1805 –  The Corps of Discovery led by Lewis and Clark broke camp among the Mandan tribe and resumed its journey West along the Missouri River.

April 7, 1822 – U.S. Representative James Adams Stallworth born in Evergreen, Ala. He was elected to represent Alabama in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1857 to 1861. He also served as a member of the Alabama State Legislature. He died at the age of 39 on Aug. 31, 1861 and is buried in the Old Evergreen Cemetery.

April 7, 1825 – During his historic tour of the United States, the Marquis de Lafayette arrived in Mobile, Ala. and was entertained at the home of Mobile Mayor Samuel H. Garrow, whose home stood near the corner of Government Street and South Jackson Street in Mobile. “Mobile gave an enthusiastic welcome to the distinguished general,” according to a Historic Mobile Preservation Society historical marker at the site of the mayor’s former home.

April 7, 1829 – Joseph Smith Jr., founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, commenced the translation of the Book of Mormon, with Oliver Cowdery as his scribe.

April 7, 1854 – Former U.S. President Millard Fillmore was entertained during a reception aboard the Eliza Battle in Mobile, Ala. (13 Alabama Ghosts)

April 7, 1861 - P. G. T. Beauregard ordered all transports to Fort Sumter, S.C. cut off. This ended the fort's supply of fresh food.

April 7, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Saint Andrews Bay, Fla.; at Columbia Furnace, Va.; and at Foy’s Plantation and Newport, N.C. The Federal vessels, USS Mississippi and USS Pensacola, entered the mouth of the Mississippi River in preparation to run past forts Jackson and St. Phillip, La. The Federal vessel, USS Pittsburg, ran past the batteries at Island No. 10, near New Madrid, Mo.

April 7, 1862 - A two-day Federal operation in and around Elizabeth City, N.C. began. A six-day Federal operation aimed at disrupting Confederate lines of communication between Chattanooga, Tenn. and Marietta, Ga. began. Federal reconnaissance to the Rappahannock River in Virginia was conducted.

April 7, 1862 – During the Civil War, the Battle of Shiloh (Pittsburgh Landing) ended as the Union Army under General Ulysses S. Grant defeated the Confederates near Shiloh in western Tennessee. Grant pushed the Confederates, now under the command of General Pierre G. T. Beauregard, back to Corinth, Miss., a major rail center 20 miles to the southwest. In the two days of heavy fighting, Union forces suffered 13,047 casualties, including 1,754 killed, 8,408 wounded and 2,885 captured while Confederate forces suffered 10,694 casualties, including 1,723 killed, 8,012 wounded and 959 missing.

April 7, 1863 – During the Civil War, a five-day Federal operation began against Indians between Fort Wright and William’s Valley, Calif.; and a skirmish was fought at Bayou Vidal, La. at Dunbar Plantation. Confederates also attacked the Federal vessel, Barataria, on the Amite River in Louisiana. A Federal operation also began between Gloucester Point and Gloucester Courthouse, Va.

April 7, 1863 – During the Civil War, a Naval engagement took place between the U.S. South Atlantic Blockade Squadron and the shore batteries in Charleston Harbor, S.C. Flag Officer DuPont commenced his attack on Charleston on this day with the planned assault on Ft. Sumter. Delayed by tides and later by a problem with a torpedo raft, the assault got underway at 3 p.m. The ships were pummeled by fire from both Sumter and Ft. Moultrie. All were hit dozens of times. DuPont’s flagship, the USS New Ironsides, sat directly over a 2000-pound torpedo while the Confederates made a frantic effort to set it off. It was later determined that a wagon had cut the wire leading to it. Darkness cut off the attack, and DuPont later advised that Charleston could not be taken by sea assault.

April 7, 1864 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought near Decatur, Ala. at Woodall’s Bridge.

April 7, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Rhea’s Mills, Ark.; along Bushy Creek in eastern Kentucky; near Pleasant Hill, La. at Wilson’s Plantation; and between Federals and Apache Indians at the base of the Sierra Bonita Mountains in the New Mexico Territory. Multiple skirmishes were also fought in the vicinity of Port Hudson, La.

April 7, 1865 – During the Civil War, a federal operation began from near Blakeley to Stockton, Ala. A skirmish was also fought on the Catawba River, Ala. at Fike’s Ferry.

April 7, 1865 - Near Appomattox Courthouse, Va., General U.S. Grant commenced a most delicate negotiation. He sent a letter, under flag of truce, to Gen. Robert E. Lee. In part, it stated “The result of the last week must convince you,” he said, “of the hopelessness of further resistance... (to avoid) any further effusion of blood, by asking of you the surrender of that portion of the CS Army known as the Army of Northern Virginia.” Skirmishes were also fought at Farmville, High Bridge and Prince Edward Courthouse, Va.

April 7, 1873 – National Baseball Hall of Fame infielder and manager John McGraw was born in Truxton, N.Y. During his career, he played for the Baltimore Orioles, the St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Giants, and he also managed the Orioles and the Giants. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1937.

April 7, 1890 – Author Marjory Stoneman Douglas was born in Minneapolis, Minn.

April 7, 1891 - The great showman P.T. Barnum passed away at the age of 80 in Bridgeport, Conn. Though it's unclear if he did actually utter "there's a sucker born every minute," he was one of the most brilliant promoters America has ever seen. Known for exhibiting "freaks" like Tom Thumb, he also created the circus billed as "The Greatest Show on Earth."

April 7, 1896 - Col. B.L. Hibbard gave a political speech at Enon church on this Tuesday.

April 7, 1905 – According to The Monroe Journal, Cooper B. Scott, who fired the first gun at Fort Sumter, died at Gainesville, Ga., aged 65 years.

April 7, 1908 - Author Julian Lee Rayford was born in Mobile, Ala.

April 7, 1915 – Jazz singer Billie Holiday was born in Philadelphia, Pa.

April 7, 1916 – A “Stereopticon lecture” was scheduled to be held at Monroe County High School in Monroeville, Ala. on this Friday evening on the subject of “Birth of a Nation.” There were also to be some illustrated songs such as “America,” sung as quartette, and the “Swannee River” as solo. Pictures illustrating these songs and 62 pictures of the “Birth of a Nation” were to be part of this “educational and inspiring” entertainment. Admission was 15 for children and 25 cents for adults.

April 7, 1916 - Dr. D.D. Cole of Eliska, accompanied by his “two bright little boys,” was a business visitor to Monroeville, Ala. on this Friday.

April 7, 1918 – National Baseball Hall of Fame second baseman Bobby Doerr was born in Los Angeles, Calif. He would go on to play his entire career for the Boston Red Sox. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1986.

April 7, 1918 - One month after Russia signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, formally ending its participation in World War I, Winston Churchill secretly proposed to the British War Cabinet a method by which Britain’s former ally could be persuaded to reenter the war.

April 7, 1923 - “The Ghost of Hilo” by Paul Bliss, a Hawaiian operetta, was scheduled to be given in the auditorium of the Agricultural School in Evergreen, Ala. on this Friday evening, under the direction of Mrs. W.G. Hairston and Mrs. John Deming.

April 7, 1927 – Herbert Hoover, who was Commerce Secretary at the time, appeared on the first city-to-city television broadcast, from Washington, D.C. to an auditorium in New York City.

April 7, 1931 – Post-modern novelist and short-story writer Donald Barthelme was born in Philadelphia.

April 7, 1933 – Prohibition in the United States was repealed for beer of no more than 3.2 percent alcohol by weight, eight months before the ratification of the XXI amendment.

April 7, 1934 – The community baseball teams at Rabb and Herbert in Conecuh County, Ala. were scheduled to play at the baseball diamond in the Rabb community.

April 7, 1936 – In Monroe County (Ala.) Circuit Court, Tom Perkins was sentenced to death for the killing of Clifford McNeil, 24, of Old Texas. Sheriff J.P. Farrish transferred Perkins to Kilby Prison in Montgomery to await his execution, which was scheduled for May 8.

April 7, 1937 – NFL wide receiver Gail Cogdill was born in Worland, Wyoming. He would go on to play for Washington State, the Detroit Lions, the Baltimore Colts and the Atlanta Falcons.

April 7, 1939 – Filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola was born in Detroit, Mich.

April 7, 1940 – Booker T. Washington became the first African American to be depicted on a United States postage stamp.

April 7, 1943 – Bobby Jean McIntyre, 10-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. E.M. McIntyre of Evergreen, and her grandfather, M.E. Wilson, brought 1,935 pennies she’d saved and bought a $25 war bond at the Evergreen Post Office. She brought the pennies to the post office in a shoe box, and clerk Harris Williamson spent 45 minutes counting the pennies. Williamson said the box of pennies weighed 13 pounds.

April 7, 1954 – Pro Football Hall of Fame running back and Heisman Trophy winner, Tony Dorsett, was born in Rochester, Pa. He would go on to play for the University of Pittsburgh, the Dallas Cowboys and the Denver Broncos. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1994.

April 7, 1964 - Evergreen High School’s baseball team, led by the no-hit pitching of Homer Faulkner and Steve Baggett, won their first game of the season, beating Conecuh County High School, 8-0, at the Evergreen (Ala.) Recreation Center field.

April 7, 1964 – Thomasville, Ala. newspaper editor and humor columnist Earl Lee Tucker passed away at the age of 59. For 30 years, Tucker wrote a popular humor column, "Rambling Roses and Flying Bricks," which originated in The Thomasville Times. Many of his columns were gathered in three books published in 1958, 1959, and 1960. In 1972, he was inducted into the Alabama Newspaper Hall of Honor on the Auburn University campus.

April 7, 1966 - The U.S. recovered a hydrogen bomb it had lost off the coast of Spain.

April 7, 1969 - U.S. President Richard Nixon threw out the first ball of the 1969 Major League Baseball season.

April 7, 1970 – U.S. President Richard Nixon posthumously awarded U.S. Army Sgt. William W. Seay of Brewton, Ala. the Medal of Honor for his actions on Aug. 25, 1968 near Ap Nhi, Republic of Vietnam.

April 7, 1970 – The Town of McIntosh in Washington County, Ala. was officially incorporated.

April 7, 1970 - John Wayne won his first and only Oscar for his role in "True Grit." He had been in over 200 films.

April 7, 1971 – President Richard Nixon announced his decision to increase the rate of American troop withdrawals from Vietnam.

April 7, 1972 – Richard Floyd McCoy Jr. staged the best known of the so-called D.B. Cooper "copycat" hijackings. He boarded United Airlines' Flight 855 (a Boeing 727 with aft stairs) in Denver, and brandishing what later proved to be a paperweight resembling a hand grenade and an unloaded handgun, he demanded four parachutes and $500,000. After delivery of the money and parachutes at San Francisco International Airport, McCoy ordered the aircraft back into the sky and bailed out over Provo, Utah, leaving behind his handwritten hijacking instructions and his fingerprints on a magazine he had been reading. He was arrested on April 9 with the ransom cash in his possession, and after trial and conviction, received a 45-year sentence.

April 7, 1973 – Evergreen, Ala. native George Jones performed in a clarinet concert in New York City’s Carnegie Hall, accompanied by his wife, Arlene, at the piano and their 12-year-old daughter, Katrina, who turned the music.

April 7, 1975 – NFL cornerback, safety and special teamer Ronde Barber was born in Blacksburg, Va. He would go on to play for the University of Virginia and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

April 7, 1975 – NFL running back Tiki Barber was born in Blacksburg, Va. He would go on to play for the University of Virginia and the New York Giants.

April 7, 1975 - North Vietnamese forces prepared to launch the “Ho Chi Minh Campaign,” designed to set the conditions for a final communist victory in South Vietnam.

April 7, 1976 – Actor and producer Kevin Alejandro was born in San Antonio, Texas.

April 7, 1976 – Actress Barbara Jane Reams was born in Burley, Idaho.

April 7, 1981 – Fort Deposit Academy’s baseball team beat Sparta Academy, 10-8, in Evergreen, Ala. Sparta’s Jeff Johnson, the losing pitcher, hit a home run for the Warriors.

April 7, 1992 - Alabama author Howell Raines was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing for his essay "Grady's Gift."

April 7, 1994 - Darby’s Red & White Grocery celebrated its grand re-opening on this day with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Among those participating were Ginny Darby, Lisa Darby, George Preyear, Probate Judge Otha Lee Biggs, John Barnett Jr., Ronny Darby, Joe Whatley, Billy Ghee, John Barrett III, Rodney Darby, Joe McKissick, Sherry Blanks, Tammy Lee, Walter Crim and Chuck Pelham.

April 7, 1997 - Oasis singer Liam Gallagher and actress Patsy Kensit were married.

April 7, 2003 – U.S. troops captured Baghdad. Saddam Hussein's regime fell two days later.

April 7, 2003 - The news that South Alabama Gas would be adding on to their service lines on the Old Greenville Road and Brownville Road in 2003 was announced at the board meeting held on this Monday night at the Evergreen office.

April 7, 2006 – The Evergreen Old Historical Cemetery, the Evergreen “Greasy Bottom” Cemetery, the Antioch-Rabb Cemetery and the Calloway Stallworth Cemetery, all in Conecuh County, Ala., were added to the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register.

April 7, 2006 – The Union Cemetery and the Franklin Cemetery, both in Escambia County, Ala., were added to the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register.

April 7-8, 2009 - Local weather observer Harry Ellis reported lows of 32 degrees in Evergreen, Ala.

April 7, 2014 – EF0 tornado struck Evergreen, Ala., leaving a path of destruction 150 yards wide and three quarters of a mile long.

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